Software Review: AverMedia Flash App with SMART Notebook

avermedia document camera
This year, we have deployed close over 75 document cameras to our classrooms, and we have been pleased thus far with the product (CP-155) chosen from AverMedia. As several of our classrooms become outfitted with SMART Boards, we find more teachers delivering lessons from the bundled software, in this case, the increasingly polished SMART Notebook 10. AverMedia has released an application that allows for integration of their document cameras with many of these software programs through a clever use of a flash file.


How It Works

After download and installation of the application (found on the downloads tab here), I was able to configure  the application (verify privacy settings) and then insert a flash file into SMART Notebook. Within seconds, I had a live feed of the document camera that had the same look and feel of any traditional object in SMART Notebook (meaning you could resize, lock, group, etc.) At the bottom of the image, there were buttons that I could touch and use to control the doc cam from the SMART Board, and I was able to annotate directly on the image  During testing on a SMART Board 800 series, I observed a small bug where I could only start outside of the image and then ink on the image, though on other occasions, I was able to start inking directly on the image without a problem. Interestingly, on a 600 series, I did not encounter this problem.

How It Helps the Teacher

Currently, we have input/outputs VGA cables configured so that teachers can quickly switch between their document camera and their desktop computer. With the software that AverMedia provides (AVER+), one could insert live images of the doc cam and begin annotating directly on the object. However, this involves yet another program for the teacher to learn, and the Aver+ product is nowhere near as refined as SMART Notebook. Thus, for our teachers who have SMART Boards and use Notebook already, this is a great way to elegantly combine both resources and potentially save time for the teacher in the form of not having to switch back and forth between the programs.

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